Declarations for goods sent between Åland and mainland Finland as well as between Åland and the EU

If you need to clear your online purchase through customs, Posti or the transport company will send you a notification. Remember, you are responsible for clearing the purchase.

Please note: Change as of 1 July

From 1 July 2021, all parcels arriving from outside the EU must be declared, and VAT has to be paid for them. Read more: Everything must be declared

The Åland Islands are one of the special fiscal territories of the EU, separated by a so-called tax border from the VAT and excise territory of the EU. That is why you must also declare goods sent between Åland and mainland Finland as well as between Åland and the EU, and pay any taxes due.

Note: From 13 February 2021, you can also submit online declarations in the Import Declaration Service for private persons for goods transported between Åland and mainland Finland.

See the instructions for declaring goods ordered from outside the EU: Ordering goods online

Gift consignments from one private person to another between Åland and mainland Finland

When you send a gift from Åland to mainland Finland or you receive a gift consignment from mainland Finland or from another EU country to Åland, you have to declare it if value of the consignment exceeds 45 euros or if the consignment contains products that are subject to restrictions or excise duties, such as alcohol or tobacco. You have to declare the gift before you can send it. You can declare it e.g. in the Import Declaration Service for private persons or at Mariehamn Customs. 

A gift consignment doesn’t need to be declared if all these conditions are met: 

  • the sender of the gift indicates in the consignment details that it is a gift,
  • the value of the gift does not exceed 45 euros, 
  • the gift does not contain any goods that are subject to restrictions or excise duties and
  • there is a clear goods description on the consignment.

If you receive a gift consignment with a value exceeding 22 euros and the sender hasn’t provided these details on the consignment, you must declare it. You can declare the consignment in the Import Declaration Service for private persons. After the customs clearance, submit the decision on release to the postal service. You can also provide details of gift consignments at Mariehamn Customs or by email to mariehamnstull(at)tulli.fi. 

When you send a gift from Åland to another EU country, you don’t need to declare it.

Newspapers and magazines sent to Åland from another EU country and from mainland Finland

Newspapers and magazines imported to Åland across the tax border must also be declared.

If you receive a newspaper or magazine from another EU country or from mainland Finland to Åland, you must declare it and pay the VAT for it to Customs. You can declare all the issues included in the same subscription period at the same time in advance. You must submit the declaration no later than on the due date of the subscription invoice. You can also submit a customs declaration individually for each issue.

You will have the issues of the beginning of the subscription period and the issues declared individually delivered to you before paying the VAT. You don’t have to provide any guarantee to Customs for unpaid VAT.

You don’t have to submit a customs declaration for membership magazines from organisations or for magazines that are free of charge, such as advertisement catalogues.

Newspapers and magazines sent from another EU country

You can declare newspapers and magazines sent to Åland from another EU country in the Import Declaration Service for private persons. However, you don’t have to declare a newspaper or magazine or pay the VAT if the sender has notified you that they will declare the consignment on your behalf.

Under “Goods description”, enter the name of the newspaper or magazine, the subscription invoice due date and the subscription period for which you are paying VAT. Under “Price and currency”, enter the price of the subscription period and select “10% books, newspapers and magazines” as the VAT rate.

Newspapers and magazines sent from mainland Finland

Many Finnish newspaper and magazine publishers will declare the newspapers or magazines you have subscribed to on your behalf, e.g. by using the tax border number. In that case, you don’t have to declare them or pay the VAT to Customs; instead, the VAT will be included in the subscription invoice. If the sender hasn’t declared the newspaper or magazine issues, you must declare them in the Customs Clearance Service for businesses.

When you are submitting a customs declaration, select the date when you complete the declaration as the tax determination date. Provide the reference number of the additional document (e.g. invoice number or order confirmation number). You don’t have to upload the document as an attachment. Under “Additional information”, add a new row and select the additional information code FIXXX. Under “Description”, enter the name of the newspaper or magazine, the invoice due date and the subscription period for which you are paying VAT. Select 10% as the VAT rate, enter the price of the whole subscription period as the price of the goods and select the currency. When the declaration details are correct, submit the declaration. When the declaration has been accepted, pay the VAT on the page “Summary and submission” by clicking on the button “Pay now”. If you wish, you can also pay the invoice within 10 days.

Newspaper and magazine subscriptions paid before 1 July 2021

You must submit a customs declaration for all the newspapers and magazines you receive after 1 July 2021. If your newspaper or magazine subscription started before 1 July 2021, you will only have to pay VAT for the newspapers or magazines that arrive on 1 July 2021 or after that date. Such subscriptions must be declared by the end of July 2021.

Example
How to calculate the value of the goods declared in the customs declaration: The subscription period is 1 May–30 October 2021, that is, six months. The value of the subscription is 60 euros and the magazine is delivered once a month, so the value of one magazine is 10 euros. As the price/value of the goods, enter only the value of the magazines delivered from July onwards, that is, 40 euros.

Newspapers and magazines arriving from outside the EU must be declared individually

If newspapers or magazines are sent to you from outside the EU, you must declare each newspaper or magazine individually to Customs and pay the VAT due for it. You can declare the newspaper or magazine in the Import Declaration Service for private persons once you have received the notice of arrival from Posti or other transport company. The newspaper or magazine will be delivered to you only after you have paid the VAT due. However, you don’t have to declare the newspaper or magazine or pay the VAT if the sender has declared it on your behalf.

When do goods sent from Åland to mainland Finland have to be declared?

  • You send goods to a private person and the value of the goods excluding transport costs exceeds 22 euros.
  • You send a gift containing excise products (such as alcohol and tobacco products) or perfumes, or the value of the gift exceeds 45 euros.
  • You send a gift with a value exceeding 22 euros but not exceeding 45 euros and you haven’t provided the transport company with the required details (that it is a gift consignment, the value of the gift and the goods description). 

When do goods received to Åland from mainland Finland or from the EU have to be declared?

  • You receive a consignment with a value exceeding 22 euros excluding transport costs.
  • You receive a gift consignment with a value exceeding 22 euros and the sender hasn’t provided the required details (that it is a gift consignment, the value of the gift and the goods description). Instead of declaring the consignment, you can email the required details of the gift (that it is a gift consignment, the value of the gift and the goods description) to Mariehamn Customs, mariehamnstull(at)tulli.fi.  
  • You receive excise goods (e.g. alcoholic beverages or tobacco products) or perfumes. These must be declared regardless of the value of the consignment.

Different ways to declare

  1. Declare your consignment online in the Import Declaration Service for private persons. You log in to the service via the Suomi.fi service using e.g. online banking ID codesor a mobile certificate. 
  2. Authorise another person to declare the consignment on your behalf or buy the customs clearance as a service e.g. from a forwarding company. Read more about the service alternatives 
  3. If you cannot use the online service and you wish to declare your consignment yourself, you can complete a form and send it to Customs. Note: this doesn’t apply to gift consignments. 
  4. You can also provide details of gift consignments at Mariehamn Customs or by email to mariehamnstull(at)tulli.fi. 

Examples of declaration

When you send goods or a gift from Åland to another private person, you must declare the consignment before you can send it. The consignee (recipient) is responsible for submitting the declaration, but as the consignor (sender) you act as the consignee’s representative and submit the declaration on the consignee’s behalf.

When you send a gift with a value not exceeding 45 euros, you can provide the following details on the consignment: 

  • that it is a gift
  • the value of the goods
  • the goods description. The description must show that the consignment doesn’t contain alcoholic beverages, tobacco products or perfume. In such case, you don’t need to declare the consignment. 

When you are declaring goods in the Import Declaration Service for private persons, tick the box “I’m declaring goods on behalf of another person”. On the start page, under “I wish to declare”, select

  • “goods I’ve purchased” 
  • “a gift sent by a private person” or
  • “goods I’ve purchased” if you are declaring goods that you have sold from Åland to mainland Finland. 

You need to have an order confirmation, an invoice or some other documentation on the value of the consignment you are declaring. Customs may ask to see it.

You can send the goods when you have received a decision on release

You can find the decision on release under “My declarations” for 90 days. Show the decision on release to the transport company (e.g. from a mobile device) when you send the goods.

The decision on release will be displayed in the service as soon as you pay the taxes and charges in the service. Customs will not send you a separate decision on release. 


When you are declaring the goods in the Import Declaration Service for private persons, select “goods I’ve purchased” on the start page. Select “The goods are used goods” on the “Goods details” page. Enter the year of manufacture of the goods. If you don’t know it, provide an estimate.

If there are several used goods and the goods were manufactured in different years, provide the goods separately for each year.

You need to have an order confirmation, an invoice or some other documentation on the value of the consignment you are declaring. Customs may ask to see it. 

If the VAT rate for the year of manufacture of the goods differs from the current VAT rate (24%), the difference in the VAT rates will be levied as a percentage of the purchase price of the goods. Read more: Käytettyjen tavaroiden tuontihuojennus Ahvenanmaan verorajaa ylitettäessä (Import relief for used goods when crossing the Åland tax border, in Finnish)

You cannot apply VAT relief for used goods if you are declaring works of art, collector’s items or antiques for which the VAT rate is 10%.


  • You usually have to pay VAT only for the repair costs when you are declaring goods repaired in mainland Finland and sent back to Åland.  
  • You usually have to pay VAT for the repair costs and transport costs when you are declaring goods repaired elsewhere in the EU and sent back to Åland. 

When you are declaring goods in the Import Declaration Service for private persons, select “goods repaired in return for payment” on the start page. On the “Consignment details” page, enter information on how you sent the goods for repair. On the “Goods details” page, enter the repair costs you have paid exclusive of VAT.

When declaring the goods you will need the repair invoice. Customs may ask to see it. 


  • A gift from mainland Finland:

Gifts from private persons must be declared if the value of the consignment exceeds 45 euros.

If the value of the gift exceeds 22 euros and the sender hasn’t indicated that the consignment is a gift or the value of the gift or the goods description, declare the consignment in the Import Declaration Service for private persons and submit the decision on release you receive to the postal service. You can also email the details to Mariehamn Customs, mariehamnstull(at)tulli.fi, and Customs will inform the postal service of the release of the gift.

When you are declaring the gift in the Import Declaration Service for private persons, select “a gift sent by a private person” on the start page. Provide the other details requested.

If you don’t know what the gift contains or what its value is, ask the consignor (sender).

  • A gift from elsewhere in the EU:

The consignment must be declared if the value of the consignment exceeds 45 euros, or if the consignment contains products that are subject to restrictions or excise duties, such as alcohol or tobacco.

When you are declaring the gift in the Import Declaration Service for private persons, select “a gift sent by a private person” on the start page. Provide the other details requested.

Exception: Excise products (alcoholic beverages and tobacco products) as well as perfumes and eau de toilette products must always be declared, and VAT and any excise duty due will always be levied on them. If the consignment contains alcohol, tobacco, tobacco products, perfume, eau de toilette products or more than 500 grams of coffee, more than 300 grams of tea or their essences and extracts, tick the relevant box on the start page of the Import Declaration Service for private persons.

If the gift consignment has several consignees (recipients) or if it contains several gifts, some of whose value does not exceed 45 euros, see the guidance on how to declare them: Declaring gifts 


When you have sent goods for replacement under warranty to mainland Finland or to elsewhere in the EU you can declare the replacement item as goods replaced for free under warranty. Also when you have sent goods for warranty repair to mainland Finland or to elsewhere in the EU, but instead of repaired goods you receive a new replacement item, you can declare the replacement item for free. You don’t usually have to pay VAT for goods replaced under warranty.

In the Import Declaration Service for private persons, select “goods replaced for free under warranty”. On the “Consignment details” page, enter information on how you sent the goods for repair or replacement. On the “Goods details” page, provide the details requested. 

For declaring the goods, you will need proof of the replacement under warranty. Customs may ask to see it. 


You receive goods repaired for free under warranty and sent back to Åland

When you receive goods you have sent from Åland to mainland Finland or to elsewhere in the EU for warranty repair you can declare it as goods repaired for free under warranty:

  • When you are declaring goods to Åland after they have been repaired under warranty in mainland Finland, you don’t usually have to pay any VAT. 
  • When you are declaring goods to Åland after they have been repaired under warranty elsewhere in the EU, you usually only pay VAT for the transport costs, if any.

In the Import Declaration Service for private persons, select “goods repaired for free under warranty”. On the “Consignment details” page, enter information on how you sent the goods for repair. On the “Goods details” page, provide the goods details requested. 
For declaring the goods, you will need proof of the repair under warranty. Customs may ask to see it.


When you have had a consignment (purchase) delivered to you that should have been declared, you should still declare it. 

Select “an undeclared purchase already delivered to me” on the start page of the Import Declaration Service for private persons. Fill in the requested details about the consignment. 


Consignments that are free of charge must also be declared and any taxes and charges due must be paid for them. When providing the value of the goods, enter the price that would have been requested for the goods in a purchase transaction. For declaring the goods, you will need proof of the contents and value of the consignment. If necessary, contact the consignor for the proof. 

In the Import Declaration Service for private persons, select “goods I’ve purchased” if you have received samples or a gift from a company or if you’re receiving a consignment otherwise free of charge, e.g. as a prize. 

Customs may ask you to provide proof of the contents and value of the consignment. 


Removal goods, live animals and burial urns cannot be declared in the Import Declaration Service for private persons

Removal goods

If you are moving from mainland Finland or from elsewhere in the EU to Åland or vice versa, see the instruction on removal goods here: I’m moving to Finland from elsewhere in the EU

If your removal goods include a vehicle, you must go to Mariehamn Customs and declare the vehicle. (The car tax will be paid separately to the Finnish Tax Administration.) Read more: Motor vehicles as removal goods

Live animals

Contact Mariehamn Customs (mariehamnstull(at)tulli.fi), whether you are bringing the animal into Åland yourself or whether it is delivered to you in Åland. 

Burial urns

When you are bringing in or taking out a burial urn, contact Mariehamn Customs (mariehamnstull(at)tulli.fi) for instructions. See also: Coffins, burial urns and funeral decorations

 


Vehicles

You have paid the VAT to the seller

When you have bought a new vehicle and paid the VAT for it to the seller, contact Mariehamn Customs mariehamnstull(at)tulli.fi.

You haven’t paid the VAT

When you have bought a new vehicle without VAT, select “goods I’ve purchased” on the start page of the Import Declaration Service for private persons. On the “Consignment details” page, tick the box “Declaration for a vehicle”. Enter the vehicle identification number (VIN). Fill in the other details requested.

Make sure that you have the vehicle registration certificate and the invoice or some other document indicating the value of the vehicle. Customs will ask you to provide this information.

Ohje arvonlisäveron käsittelystä kun Manner-Suomessa sijaitseva yritys myy uuden tai käytetyn ajoneuvon ahvenanmaalaiselle yksityishenkilölle  (Guidance on the processing of VAT when a company in mainland Finland sells a new or a used vehicle to a private person on Åland, in Finnish)

The Finnish Tax Administration is responsible for matters concerning car taxation.


Select “goods I’ve purchased” on the start page of the Import Declaration Service for private persons. On the “Consignment details” page, tick the box “Declaration for a vehicle”. Enter the vehicle identification number (VIN). On the “Goods details” page, tick the box “The goods are used goods”. Enter the year of manufacture of the vehicle. Fill in the other details requested.

Make sure that you have the vehicle registration certificate and the invoice or some other document indicating the value of the vehicle. Customs will ask you to provide this information. 

For taxation purposes, you should have this information:

  • country where the vehicle was taken into use
  • year and month when the vehicle was taken into use
  • Has the vehicle only been in business use or has it been owned by a private person?
  • When you buy a used vehicle that has been owned by a private person and the vehicle is from mainland Finland or from another EU country, it can be assumed that the vehicle includes the VAT of the country of manufacture for the year when the vehicle was taken into use. The VAT rate for the year when the vehicle was taken into use is set off against the current VAT rate (24%).
  • The difference in the VAT rates will be levied as a percentage of the purchase price of the vehicle.

Guidance on the processing of VAT when a company in mainland Finland sells a new or a used vehicle to a private person on Åland, in Finnish

Import relief for used goods when crossing the Åland tax border, in Finnish


When you are declaring the goods in the Import Declaration Service for private persons, select “goods I’ve purchased” on the start page. On the “Consignment details” page, tick the box “Declaration for a vehicle”. Enter the vehicle identification number (VIN). On the “Goods details” page, tick the box “The goods are used goods”. Enter the year of manufacture of the vehicle. Fill in the other details requested.

Consignments sent from one private person to another must be declared in the service before the goods are sent from Åland. The consignee (recipient) is responsible for lodging a declaration. By ticking the box “I’m declaring goods on behalf of another person”, the consignor (sender) can, however, act as the representative of the consignee and lodge the declaration on behalf of the consignee. 

Make sure that you have the vehicle registration certificate and the invoice or some other document indicating the value of the vehicle. Customs will ask you to provide this information. 

For taxation purposes, you should have this information:

  • country where the vehicle was taken into use
  • year and month when the vehicle was taken into use
  • Has the vehicle only been in business use or has it been owned by a private person?
  • When you buy a used vehicle that has been owned by a private person and the vehicle is from mainland Finland or from another EU country, it can be assumed that the vehicle includes the VAT of the country of manufacture for the year when the vehicle was taken into use. The VAT rate for the year when the vehicle was taken into use is set off against the current VAT rate (24%).
  • The difference in the VAT rates will be levied as a percentage of the purchase price of the vehicle.

Guidance on the processing of VAT when a company in mainland Finland sells a new or a used vehicle to a private person on Åland, in Finnish

Import relief for used goods when crossing the Åland tax border, in Finnish

 


See instructional videos

Declaring your purchases from mainland Finland to the Åland in the Import Declaration Service


How to declare your purchases from another EU country to the Åland Islands in the Import Declaration Service for private persons

 


When you receive a newspaper or magazine from outside the EU

You must declare each newspaper or magazine individually to Customs and pay the VAT due for it. Even if you have subscribed for the newspaper or magazine for a longer period, each newspaper or magazine issue included in the subscription must be declared separately.

In the service, select that you wish to declare “goods I’ve purchased”.

If your newspaper or magazine subscription started before 1 July 2021, you will only have to pay VAT for the newspapers or magazines that arrive after that date. You can calculate the value of a single newspaper or magazine issue by dividing the total price of the subscription with the number of issues included in it.

  • Example: The subscription period is 12 months, that is, 1 January–31 December 2021. The magazine is delivered once a month. The price of the subscription period is USD 80. Divide the price of the subscription period, USD 80, with the number of magazine issues. The price of an individual magazine issue is USD 6.67 (80 : 12 = 6.67).

On the page “Consignment details”, under “Value of the consignment without transport costs”, enter the price and currency of a single magazine issue.

On the page “Goods details”, enter “magazine” in the search field and select “magazines and comics”. Under “Price and currency”, enter the price and currency of the individual magazine issue.

Fill in the missing details and submit the declaration. You can pay the VAT straight away.

If an undeclared newspaper or magazine is delivered to you, be sure to submit the declaration afterwards.

When you receive a newspaper or magazine sent from another EU country to the Åland Islands

You can submit a declaration and pay the VAT for all newspapers or magazines included in the subscription period (or for remaining issues of the subscription period) at the same time.

In the service, select that you wish to declare “an undeclared purchase already delivered to me/a newspaper or magazine subscription”.

Under “Goods description”, enter the name of the newspaper or magazine, the invoice due date and the subscription period for which you are paying VAT.

Under “Price and currency”, enter the price and currency of the subscription period.

  • Example: The subscription period is 12 months, that is, 1 January–31 December 2021. The magazine is delivered once a month. The price of the subscription period is EUR 80. Divide the price of the subscription period, EUR 80, with the number of magazine issues. The price of an individual magazine issue is EUR 6.67 (80 : 12 = 6.67). As the price of the subscription period, enter only the value of the magazines delivered from July onwards, that is, 40 euros (6 x 6.67 = 40), and EUR as the currency.

Select “10% books, newspapers and magazines” as the VAT rate.

Fill in the missing details and submit the declaration. You can pay the VAT straight away.

You can also declare each magazine issue individually and pay the VAT for it.

  • Example: The subscription period is 12 months, that is, 1 January–31 December 2021. The magazine is delivered once a month. The price of the subscription period is EUR 80. Divide the price of the subscription period, EUR 80, with the number of magazine issues. The price of an individual magazine issue is EUR 6.67 (80 : 12 = 6.67). Enter 6,67 as the price and EUR as the currency.

On the page “Consignment details”, under “Value of the consignment without transport costs”, enter the price and currency of a single magazine issue.

Fill in the missing details and submit the declaration. You can pay the VAT straight away.

When you receive a magazine sent from mainland Finland to the Åland Islands

Many Finnish newspaper or magazine publishers will declare the newspapers or magazines you have subscribed to on your behalf. In that case, you don’t have to declare them or pay the VAT to Customs; instead, the VAT will be included on the subscription invoice.

If the sender has not declared the newspaper or magazine issues, you must declare them in the Customs Clearance Service. You can declare the issues for the whole subscription period at the same time or each issue individually. You cannot declare the magazine subscription in the Import Declaration Service for private persons.


How to get the goods after the customs clearance

When you have declared the consignment and paid any taxes and other charges due, the consignment will be ready to be picked up or delivered.

Postal consignments: Customs will notify Åland Post once the clearance is complete. Åland Post will deliver the parcel to the consignee or you can pick it up as agreed.

Other consignments: If you have to present the decision on release to the transport company before the cleared goods are delivered or before you can pick them up, you can obtain it from the Import Declaration Service for private persons. You can find the decision on release under “My declarations” for 90 days.

VAT refund in connection with return of goods

If you have paid VAT for the goods you have returned, proceed as follows:

  • Fill in the form No. 971s  (in Finnish)
  • Attach the original customs clearance decision to the form as well as the invoice and proof indicating that the seller has received the goods.
  • Send the form by post to Mariehamns tull, PB 40, 22101 Mariehamn or by email to atp.skattegrans(at)tulli.fi

Contact information

 

Contact Customs Information Mon–Fri 8 am–4.15 pm

Please have a look at the frequently asked questions.

If you have a question about the arrival of parcels, its contents or the handling fee, please contact Posti.

Customs Information Service